It’s 2023, and the world is slowly beginning to open its doors, making travel a possibility once again.
You may be itching to get out there and explore, but you likely still have a budget you need to stick to, or perhaps you need to travel home for the holidays or need to hop on a plane to compete at a sporting event with other students.
Thankfully, many airlines offer discounts for students and young travelers; you just have to know how to take advantage of these great deals.
In this article, we’ll show you which airlines offer discounted tickets for students, where to look for the best fares, and some tips and tricks for saving money on flights.
Are There Any Flight Discounts for Students?
With a student ID and a .edu email address, you can get discounted offers on everything from clothes to food, tech gear, and music subscriptions. But did you also know you can get discounts on flights?
By shopping around and being flexible with your flight options, you can get some great prices on your next trip to the skies.
Start with websites and travel agents that cater specifically to students. Look at airlines directly to see what offers they have for students and search for coupon codes to get you further discounts if you want your student budget to stretch further.
Can college students get free flights?
Some airlines do offer free flights to students. For example, with Frontier Airlines, a student can get a complimentary flight when a full-paying ticket is purchased with the airline.
There are, of course, qualifying dates and routes that apply, but this is one great way that students can fly for free.
How can students fly for free?
In addition to the above free flight options, some airlines offer another way to fly for free is to use airlines miles. If you’re flying home every holiday, then you may be able to rack up a good number of airlines miles on all those trips.
In the end, you may even have enough to score a free flight.
Do students get discounts on international flights?
Yes, some airlines offer discounts on international flights for students, including carriers like Lufthansa and Air India.
If you’re thinking about doing a semester abroad or traveling in your break, having a closer look at these international flight options is a good idea before deciding on your final destination.
How to Avail and Book a Student Discount on Flights?
To claim a student discount on flights, you will typically need to have a .edu or K12.[State].US email address. You will then also need to present your student ID upon check-in. Some websites also offer special fares to teachers as well.
Which Airlines with Discounts and Cheap Airfares are Best for Students?
From Qatar to Sri Lankan Airlines, many operators offer discounted tickets for students. By simply checking the airlines policies before booking your ticket, you could secure additional discounts on your fare.
Keep reading to discover some of the best airlines for napping cheaper student rates.
1. Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines is an excellent choice if you’re studying abroad. Delta’s discounted fares can be linked with flights from Virgin Atlantic, making them particularly appealing for students looking to travel internationally to somewhere like London.
Delta flights can also be combined with KLM and Air France flights to Europe or various other destinations around the globe.
You also get free WiFi on most Delta flights, so you can continue to stay connected on the move, giving you a headstart on your college tasks for next semester.
2. American Airlines
American Airlines’ AAdvantage program offers special fares for student travelers. You will need to register with your student ID on their site to qualify for these fares, and you will also need to be a student at one of the qualifying universities listed on their site.
If you need to travel as a group of students, perhaps for a sporting event or debate event, you may qualify for a group discount if you have ten people or more traveling together.
You will also be able to block off seats together up to eleven months in advance of your trip.
German carrier Lufthansa offers a great student discount program that provides students between the ages of 12 and 25 with cheaper fares to more than 450 destinations around the globe.
4. Southwest Airlines
While Southwest Airlines doesn’t do student fares anymore, this low-cost carrier still offers fares that are much cheaper than what you’ll find elsewhere.
These airlines also have many routes that service most major universities across the United States, so it’s also a super convenient choice.
Southwest also doesn’t charge for any changes, ticketing, or booking fees for groups traveling with ten or more passengers.
5. United Airlines
As with some other airlines, United offers group discounts through their GroupsPlus program with discounted fares if you have ten or more people traveling together.
The fares can be locked in eleven months in advance while still giving students time to save up for their tickets.
United Airlines sometimes also offers student discounts on their local and international flights departing from their nine hubs across the country.
6. Singapore Airlines
Students can save when traveling with Singapore Airlines as the company offers free extra baggage to students on their way to study overseas.
To take advantage of this great offer, you need to book your tickets at least five days before you’re due to fly, and you’ll need to show proof of your student status by providing a copy of your student visa, admissions letter, and student ID.
7. IndiGo Airlines
You can get excellent student discounts as well as a free 10kg extra baggage allowance when you fly on IndiGo Airlines. However, note that this special only applies to domestic routes, and you need to book your flights at least a week in advance.
8. GoAir Airlines
With GoAir Airlines, students can get a 5% discount on their tickets plus an additional complimentary baggage allowance of up to 25kg.
Along with being valid for college students with an ID card, high school students can also benefit from this great offer.
9. Vistara Airlines
Need to travel to Mumbai to compete in a cricket tournament or sign on for an international exchange program? Students who book economy class tickets with Vistara Airline to India will qualify for a 10% discount on their rates.
10. Air India Airline
Air India Airlines offers one of the best discounts in the world for students. Students enrolled at a Government education institution qualify for a whopping 50 percent off their flight tickets.
You need to be aged between 12 and 26 to take advantage of this special, and you need to book your tickets at least seven days before you fly.
How Can College Students Fly Cheap?
There are various ways that college students can fly for less. While everyone can find cheaper flights by booking early, being flexible with their travel dates, and watching for sales, students can also book with student agents, use their airline miles, take red-eye flights, travel in the shoulder season, or watch for sales to score even lower rates.
1. Book your tickets with a student agency
There are student agencies, like StudentUniverse, that work directly with airlines to secure better fares for young travelers.
These student agencies can sometimes offer you flights at 30 percent less than you would get at a standard travel agent or direct from the airline. They can also help you look for discounted hotels, tours, and even car rentals.
2. Start looking early
To get the best deals on student flights, particularly if you plan to travel internationally, you’ll want to book your flights well in advance.
If you are not yet ready to book, at least start researching the cost of the fares around the time you want to go, so you’ll know a good deal if you see one.
3. Be flexible with your booking
When looking for cheap flights, it’s essential to be flexible. You might be able to save money by flying into a secondary airport in the city you want to visit or shifting your travel dates by a few days.
The prices a few days before or after your required dates might be slightly lower, so always set your dates to flexible, rather than exact, when looking for tickets. This will allow the system to check around your dates for flights at a better rate.
Also, try not to be too set in your ways regarding the airline you want to use. Sometimes the standard fares with cheaper carriers are still more affordable than student fares with more expensive carriers.
4. Watch for sales
Most airlines have sales, so if you book your tickets far enough in advance, you may be able to take advantage of these.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday, in particular, are some of the best times of year for grabbing great deals on flights. At the same time, some airlines also have sales around other major holidays.
To be sure you never miss a sale, start following your favorite airlines on social media and sign up for their newsletters so you’ll stay informed.
- Skyscanner price alert: Searching with Skyscanner will give you the most comprehensive range of flights available. You’ll need to complete additional booking information on the Skyscanner website to search for student fares.
Setting up a price alert with Skyscanner means you’ll be notified when prices change on a trip you’ve shown interest in.
5. Consider booking two one-way trips instead of a single round-trip
Believe it or not, sometimes it works out that booking two one-way trips can be cheaper than a single round trip. This can especially be the case if you are booking a multi-city ticket.
When you’re trying to find tickets, play around with the options and your stopovers to see what nets you the best bang for your buck.
6. Use airline miles
Join as many frequent flyer programs as you can to start racking up points. You can use these points to get discounts on your flights or other bonuses like a better seat, extra luggage, food on the flight, or free WiFi.
If you fly internationally often enough, you may even be able to score a free flight. Frequent flyer programs are free to join, so you have nothing to lose.
And even if you book your flights through a travel agency, you can still get the points by giving them your frequent flyer number.
7. Take advantage of shoulder-season
Shoulder season is the period between the peak and off-peak seasons. The exact time will vary based on the summer or winter of your destination and any school holidays in that location, but typically this is around spring and fall.
Tickets are usually cheaper during this time, and you can take advantage of the milder weather in most destinations.
8. Take a red-eye flight
You can get a discounted ticket by planning to travel at certain times of the day. Early morning or overnight flights, known as red-eye flights, are usually the cheapest as many people don’t want to travel at these times.
These flights also come with some other advantages.
Early morning flights are also less likely to encounter delays as they won’t be affected by any hiccups that occur during the day and red-eye flights allow you to save on the cost of a hotel room for the night and give you a full day to explore when you land at your destination.
9. Watch prices, not destinations
If you’re flexible in going on vacation, you’re more likely to find discounted flights for your next holiday.
You may be dreaming of a beach holiday, so stay open-minded about Thailand, Bali, or Costa Rica, and you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy, or try various cities in Europe to see where would be the best place to start your backpacking adventure. When you’re there, you could always take a more affordable train ticket to your final destination.
What are the Best Websites for Cheap and Discounted Student Flights?
Knowing what website to look for cheap and discounted student flights can save you lots of cash. Look beyond just the cheap travel sites to student-specific organizations where are you are more likely to find rates the general public can’t get their hands on.
That said, if you don’t know where to start, the choices can be overwhelming, so keep reading to discover some of the best places to search for discounted student flights.
1. Student Universe
StudentUniverse is a student fare website where you can search for comparable fares depending on when you travel and where you’re going. They offer flights from over 220 airlines and tours and hotels for students under 26 years of age.
- Student Universe Promo Codes: Student Universe often offers promo codes for discounted fares, but certain conditions are attached to them. Also, new promos are released every month, so be sure to check the site regularly to catch the best offers.
- Pros and Cons of Student Universe: One of the excellent pros of Student universe is that the site often has sales around the times when students need flights, such as around the holidays or end of term.
Do note that the fares on Student Universe are exclusive for college students only. You also need to become a member to access the discounts, but membership is free in any case.
You can also earn cashback for future bookings through the referral program. Any friend that uses your link or code to sign up and book will net you $20 credit.
2. CheapOair Student Fares
To access the student section of the CheapOair website, simply visit their student travel section in the dropdown menu. Here you will find great deals on airlines from all over the world.
- Pros and Cons of CheapOair Student Fares: One of the excellent pros of CheapOair is their price match promise. If you find your tickets cheaper on another major travel agency website within 24 hours of booking, they will refund you the difference or cancel your booking depending on your preference.
Unfortunately, one of the cons of CheapOair is their high service fees; these are about $35 for economy class tickets and $100 for multi-city or business class flights. They also charge pretty steep cancellation fees if you haven’t signed up for one of the premium packages.
3. Generation Fly
Generation Fly is Lufthansa’s exclusive student discount program to guarantee the lowest airline flight rates for young travelers. It also works as a social network to connect with other student travelers worldwide.
To be eligible to join, you need to have a .edu email address or state K12 email address and be between 12 and 25. You also need to present a student ID when checking in for any flight booked on Generation Fly.
- Pros and Cons of Generation Fly: While the tickets available on Generation Fly are guaranteed to be the lowest prices bookable with Lufthansa, they are only available on specific routes. Another good thing about these tickets is that they are flexible for one year with one free date change.
4. One Travel Student Fares
One Travel offers several flights, hotel, and holiday package deals. While they do offer student deals, these are comparable to their standard offers, which are usually pretty well priced in any case.
This does mean that you don’t necessarily need to be a student to take advantage of their offers, so it is a great site to check if you’re traveling with the rest of your family or friends.
- One Travel Credit Card: One Travel has its own credit card to earn points on your purchases. That said, other credit cards out there offer better interest rates and benefits than the site’s credit card.
- Pros and Cons of One Travel: This online travel agency also offers a price match policy if the lower price found is identical to your ticket booking with the same terms and conditions. However, the site does charge some expensive booking fees of between $35 and $150 a ticket.
The problem with One Travel’s cheap flights is that they are often made up of several connections and one-way tickets. This means that it can get pretty complicated if you need to amend your flight for any reason, and you can end up with long layovers in airports.
SmartFares is a lesser-known agency that offers great deals to students and non-students alike. You might even be able to get better pricing than what’s shown online if you call their customer support line on 877-245-3755.
- Pros and Cons of SmartFares: SmartFares offers free cancellation within 24 hours on their amazing low fares. There are, however, servicing fares on their tickets which can range between $30 and $100. They also charge extra for seat assignments, even if you’re traveling in business class.
Are There Destination-Specific Traveling Tips for Finding Cheap College Student Flights?
Do you know where you want to go? Then keep reading to discover more tips and tricks specific to the destination of your dreams.
Cheap student flights to Europe
When it comes to flights to Europe, the cheapest time to visit is generally between March and April before summer.
Winter can also be a more affordable time to visit the major cities unless the town is close to a prime skiing destination.
Big cities like London, Barcelona, Paris, and Rome typically net the cheapest international deals, and from there, you can always take a train to your final destination.
Many discount airlines offer cheap flights to Europe, and sometimes flying domestically in Europe can even be more affordable than taking the train or booking a cab.
When booking on a budget airline, the trick is to pack light and not expect extra frills like food or drinks on board.
Cheap student flights to Australia
If you’re booking flights to Australia, try and book them three to six months ahead of your trip to secure the best deals.
Remember that the seasons are opposite in Australia to Europe or the United States in the Southern Hemisphere. That does mean that you can escape cold winters and head for some sunny sunshine, but that also makes winter in the northern hemisphere the most expensive time to head down under.
If you’re traveling from the United States, it is also cheaper to book your tickets from the West Coast than from the East Coast due to the shorter travel time. So consider booking your domestic travel independently of your international travel for the best deals.
Cheap student flights to Asia
The earlier you can book your tickets to Asia, the better. Try to aim for at least three months in advance when booking your flights and travel during the off-season to get the best rates.
Student agencies often have great flight deals and holiday packages to various Asian destinations. You can also try signing up to Asian social media channels like WeChat or Weibo to find great offers.
Hop on these Flight Deals, Students!
We know you have big dreams to travel and see the world, but it can be challenging to achieve those dreams when you’re living on a student budget. The good news is that if you’re a student, you don’t have to pay full price for flights, and traveling doesn’t need to break the bank.
There are student agencies and airlines that you can turn to to get discounted fares for your next trip home or that epic end-of-year vacation. You can also be flexible with your dates and travel times, wait for sales, and book early to book the best flights at the best prices.
Do you have any more tips and tricks for catching great deals on flights as a student? We would love to hear them. Please do share your flight booking secrets with us in the comments below.